Not getting enough sleep? It might be your partner.
Sharing a bed with someone is one of those things that sounds great, in theory. But in reality, it can leave you feeling very restricted.
How your health is impacted by sharing a bed
You might wake up regularly
And even if you don’t wake up, regular disruptions from your other half at night might still affect the quality of your sleep by interrupting your sleep cycles – so you can’t slip into a more restorative state.
You might have a higher risk of infection
You’re more likely to get ill if your partner is also sick and you’re sharing a bed. Not ideal.
Lack of sleep has been linked to premature ageing, because it can breakdown collagen in the skin and impair the body’s ability to repair and regenerate.
Poor sleep posture
If you share a bed you’re more likely to put yourself in an uncomfortable, cramped position, Seeley suggested.
“Sleeping in a position that puts strain on the neck or spine can lead to chronic pain and discomfort, which can contribute to premature ageing,” he added.
Relationship and intimacy issues
“While sharing a bed can enhance intimacy for some couples, it can also lead to sexual problems for others,” the sleep expert added. “For example, if one partner snores loudly or moves around a lot, it can make it difficult for the other partner to get in the mood for sex.”
Different bedtimes can increase tension and cause arguments, too.
Don't worry though – there are ways to overcome this bed-sharing dilemma
How to cope with sharing a bed
Although all of the reasons above make it sound like it would be impossible to ever share a bed, there is (of course) a way for you both to move past this.
The key to coping is communication, according to Seeley – so tell your other half if their movements, snoring or other habits are affecting you.
Also make sure you have the right bed – you’ll be wanting a high-quality mattress and pillows that offer you both the right support. You might want to consider getting a larger bed, if possible, so you can both get the room you want and need.
A bedtime routine is essential too, so make sure you take part in relaxing activities before hitting the hay.
It’s important to make sure your bedroom is the right temperature as well – if you have different needs in this area, try making up the difference with blankets.
Earplugs or white noise might also help you shut out snoring (or other unwanted noises) as well.
However, Seeley did conclude: “If sharing a bed is consistently disrupting your sleep, consider sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms.
“This doesn’t mean you have to give up intimacy, but it can help ensure that you both get the sleep you need.”
Finally – a chance to starfish again in peace.